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Avoiding Peanuts May Result in Recurrence of
Peanut Allergy

(November 9, 2004 - Children who keep avoiding peanuts after they outgrow their peanut allergy have a higher risk that their peanut allergy will return, according to a study in the November 2004 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI). The JACI is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

For their study, David M. Fleischer, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues studied 68 patients who had previously outgrown their peanut allergy. They sought to determine the percentage of patients who reacquire peanut allergy later; identify any risk factors for recurrent peanut allergy; and develop specific recommendations for treating patients who have outgrown peanut allergy.

Based on questionnaire results, repeat peanut-specific IgE levels, and repeat food challenges, the researchers found that patients who have outgrown their peanut allergy have approximately an 8% chance of it reoccurring. The study found this risk is significantly higher in patients who continue to avoid eating peanut after their allergy is resolved.

Based on the study's results, researchers recommend that patients eat concentrated forms of peanut at least once a month after outgrowing their peanut allergy in an attempt to maintain their tolerance to peanut.

Researchers also recommended that patients and families who rarely eat peanuts or eat them in limited amounts after outgrowing their allergy should continue to carry epinephrine at all times.

Source: AAAAI


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